TCU Horned Frogs vs. BYU Cougars Preview and Pick

TCU Horned Frogs (5-4) +7, 46.5 O/U at BYU Cougars (6-2) -7, 46.5 O/U LaVell Edwards Stadium, 9 PM Eastern, Thursday
by Badger of

Brigham Young looks to add to their five-game winning streak and remain atop the Mountain West Conference standings when they host the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian Thursday night.

BYU (6-2, 4-0 in MWC) may be rolling right now on the field, but they are only 2-3 ATS during their streak for bettors. The Cougars best win this season, a 31-6 victory over Air Force, is what started the streak back in September.

BYU also had an extra bye week, if you will, two weeks ago when their game verses San Diego State was cancelled due to the wildfires. The Cougars have defended their home turf well, going 4-0 SU (2-1 ATS) in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

TCU (5-4, 2-3) has been a jeckel-n-hyde team in 2007, winning impressively one week (like a 38-36 win over Stanford) only to lay a turd the following week (27-20 loss to Utah at home). Their record against the spread shows their inconsistent play, with them going 3-4-1 ATS this year. The Frogs are 1-3 SU on the road this season, but only 0-3-1 ATS in those four games.

BYU continues to have a strong offense, led by quarterback Max Hall who passes for 310.6 yards per game. With an overall 18th-rank in total yards (451.9) and at 30.9 points per contest, the Cougars still can score enough to win football games.

TCUs offense on the other hand has stumbled to just an 85th-overall rank in total yards with 359.6. TCU also has the motivation to redeem last years loss at home to the Cougars, 31-17.

Defensively is where both teams are similar and strong. TCU is ranked 13th at 303.3 yards per game and allows merely 17.8 points. BYU is 15th at 307.1 and allows just 19.5 points per contest. BYU is a little vulnerable to the passing game, giving up over 200 yards per, but TCU isnt a pass-happy program like many of the other Texas teams.

Most online sportsbooks opened this game with BYU as a 7-point favorite, and its already moved up to 7.5 or 8 depending on whether you go offshore or to Las Vegas. The Mormons in Utah must be putting heavy wood on the Cougars to cover. The total of 46.5 has also moved up to 47 quickly in some sportsbooks. With the weather expected to be perfect, the early betting on the total is heavily in favor of both teams defenses.

Badgers Pick: When you look at the numbers, games verses common opponents, etc., you cant help but lean in favor of the home BYU Cougars. But TCU has played against the much better competition, and their defense keeps this game closer then most people think. Take the Horned Frogs and the points.